Critique Groups

circleI couldn’t exist as a writer without a critique group.

  • I feel that I must have a chapter ready for the group every two weeks
  • The group finds holes in my work that I didn’t see.

I’m very lucky now to be in an excellent group. Some groups deteriorate into social groups. The group I’m in, the Rainwriters:

  • Starts on time and ends on time – two hours
  • Members do not read at the meeting. We hand out our manuscripts at each meeting and review them at home. Meetings are for discussion

However, some people do not work well in groups and that’s fine. Perhaps they meet in a coffee shop with another trusted writer.

It’s important that any group continue to ask itself questions:  What should a critique group for writers be based on?  Respect for self and others?  Support for other writers?  Knowledge in the craft of writing?  Which is the dominant principle? Do positive comments precede suggestions for improvement? Do people try to change the basic style of a member? (I don’t think they should.)

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4 responses to “Critique Groups

  1. Critique groups … What a can of worms this is, Ed. Two things matter, I think: one is the level of skill and the gentleness of intention of the members. The other is not to expose any writing too early. Although it depends on a lot of variables, I think at least 3 drafts need to be done alone by the writer.
    Best for the season, Danielle.

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